It’s 67 million years ago in what is now south Asia. A gigantic sauropod dinosaur female digs a shallow hole with one of her four huge feet and lays somewhere between six and a dozen six-inch eggs. She swings the tall stalk of her neck around to peer at the eggs one last time before she sweeps a thin layer of insulating leaves and dirt over the nest and moves away. The eggs, untended, lie in a shallow pit on the swampy bank of the river.

An egg splinters. A snout pokes out of the cracks. A hungry snake bellies up to the nest and coils its long body to get comfortable with its intended meal. The hefty snake rests its head on one of its coils, facing the egg as it’s just about to hatch.

The sauropod hatchling—its bones still a bit soft—stumbles from the egg fragments, completely unaware of the predator lurking nearby. The snake rises and prepares to strike the dinosaur.

And BAM! A mucky avalanche inundates everything. The snake stays forever poised to eat the dinosaur hatchling. The baby sauropod forever escapes that fate but gets an equally deadly surprise.

The snake that almost ate the dinosaur becomes instantaneously preserved under sediment for millions and millions of years.